Joey Votto is a complicated character. He also happens to be one of the National League’s best players this season, but he’s nothing like the typical MLB superstar. Over the years, Votto has developed an interesting anti-hero quality about him. Something that’s made him just as easy to cheer for as he is to jeer for. If Major League Baseball had one player to represent the sport as its “heel," it would unequivocally be Votto. In order to be a “bad guy” of baseball, there are some simple requirements. One, the player must be talented enough to be despised. Secondly, to be a baseball heel persona, on occasion, the player must display nefarious tendencies. Votto hasn’t done anything which would qualify as "villainous," but he’s had his share of run-ins with umpires and fans over the years. Although he hails from Canada — stereotypically known as an apologetic nation — Votto makes no apologies for his behavior. Sure, he apologized and was clearly remorseful in 2015 when he bumped into Bill Welke during an argument at home plate. That said, Votto doesn’t conform to how the typical professional athlete should act. That’s precisely which makes him one of baseball’s most fascinating characters to watch. Votto is cerebral, but he’s also incredibly self-aware. Although he approaches baseball with a cold, calculated effectiveness, everything else Votto does as a baseball player is completely unorthodox.
Joey Votto's unorthodox awesomeness is something we should embrace
Sporting News | Aug 18